Life Hacks

The Why and How to a Weekly Budget Meeting

Is there anything more uncomfortable than talking about money?!? I mean, just saying the word “money” kind of makes my skin crawl. And what about the word “budget”?? That evokes a wide range of emotions, doesn’t it. What if I told you it really is possible to have a civil

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10 Things I'm Glad I Did On Our Family Vacation

10 Things I’m Glad I Did On Our Family Vacation

The beach is my happy place. And I’ve always wanted my children to be able to see and experience the ocean and white sands beaches of the Florida panhandle, like I’ve been fortunate enough to many times as a teenager and adult. Being landlocked in mid-Missouri (at least 14 hours

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How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

How to Get a Hummingbird Out of a Garage

Guest post and photography by my daddy, Curt. He also shared this post a while back. Every summer a strange phenomenon takes place in many American garages:  Hummingbirds fly in, but they don’t fly out.  They will stay in there, with the door wide open, until they keel over dead. 

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How to Freeze and Save Garden Zucchini

I have NEVER had such a great zucchini harvest. It seems like every time I go down to my garden, there are huge zucchinis waiting for me. I have zucchinis in all shapes and sizes and hardly know what to do with them. Here is a snapshot from Thriving Home’s

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safe way to show youtube videos

Mom Hack: Safest Way to Show Youtube Videos to Kids

Do you like to watch Youtube videos with your kids? Or are you a teacher in some capacity and show Youtube videos to children? If so, you may find this tip helpful that my friend, Christine, sent me. SafeShare.TV provides the safest way to show Youtube videos to kids. Generating

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How to Refinish an Old Lamp

How to Refurbish an Old Lamp

It’s high time I introduce you to my dad. Although a former U.S. Marshal, I’ve always known him to be an artist and innovator at heart. From photographer to writer to architect/builder of our childhood playhouse, my dad is the most creative (and perfectionist) person I’ve ever met. He seriously

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favorite toys for two year olds

Moms’ Favorite Toys for 2-Year-Olds

Note: *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s our full disclosure.  Here’s a mommy pet peeve

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Five Ways to Make Your House Less Desirable to Thieves

Guest posting for us today is my good friend, Ashley. As you will read in her post, she has learned some tough life lessons that she wanted to pass on. As a small town (and slightly naive) girl myself, I have found this information to be super helpful! A few

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how to start a freezer club

How to Start a Freezer Club (and Why You Should)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means we get a small commission if you make a purchase through one at no additional cost to you. Read more here. Tight budget? Want to eat healthy meals at home regularly? No time to cook homemade meals during the week? I’ve got

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Life Hack: How to Hang Perfectly Level Decor on Walls

Since all of our big projects are pretty much done in our new house, I’ve gotten to work on some decorating. I wish SO MUCH that I had known about this little life hack on hanging pictures a long time ago. It would have saved me from much frustration, time

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Budget Breakdown of the Kitchen Flip

As you’ve probably gathered by now, we have done some major work on our kitchen. As I’ve been talking to friends about it, some have bravely asked how much we spent. Something in me gets a little squirmy when I start sharing numbers. Not sure why because I’m always itching

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Before and Afters of my New Home

I love taking before and after shots. As we’ve been plowing through the house projects at our new home, I’ve managed to keep my camera handy and snap some shots of the progress. Here is a rundown of some of the things we’ve been up to! Entry Way: Put in

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2013 Top Ten Posts: Creativity

Despite the creative juices slowing down a bit this year due to my 2nd child being born, we still managed to get quite a few posts out there that the creative community liked. Here are the top 10 creative posts from 2013. 1. Wood Pallet Makeover 2. Football Blanket Tutorial

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The Gift of Granola: Cheap and Easy Christmas Idea!

This holiday season, I’ve come up with a super easy, budget-friendly gift idea. Homemade granola! Double the batch, divide it between 3-4 large mason jars, tie a ribbon around the top and you’ve got yourself a gift that almost anybody can appreciate. I think this could be perfect for a

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Mirror Makeover

   I inherited this HUGE mirror from my grandparents about a year ago. It’s been hanging above my couch for quite a while and has been begging for a fresh coat of paint for a long time. The original frame was kind of a golden, brass color. While it does

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Game Night: Make Your Own “Apples to Apples”

It’s no secret. I LOVE games. Especially ones that make a group laugh and make memories together, like the Rate Your Mate Game or The Question Game. Today, I’ve got another DIY oldie but goodie that my family has played time and again. Remember that popular board game Apples to

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The Thankful Tree: A Thanksgiving Craft and Centerpiece

Here’s a craft that I think is worth it: The Thankful Tree. In the rush of preparing a meal, socializing, and entertaining (or restraining?) a house full of little kids, it gave our extended family (ages 2-60) just a moment to reflect on why we had gathered. It focused our

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Gift Idea for a New Mom: Nursing Time Box

Reposted from January 2012 Here’s a frugal, easy and useful gift idea for a new mom… A friend of mine had her third baby a few weeks ago and is now at home with the infant and her two other small children. As I prepared a meal to take to

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Turn Old T-Shirts into Reusable Grocery Bags!

Turn Old T-Shirts into Reusable Grocery Bags!

  Got a stash of old t-shirts hanging around? Put them to good use by turning them into grocery bags! In the past few years my family has attempted to take small steps towards being a little more kind to the environment. We try to use reusable snack bags,  cloth diaper our little

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Wood Pallet Makeover

When I saw this wood pallet makeover that my friend Jessi (and her husband) did I immediately asked her to share how she did it with us. Check it out! I asked Jessi to share how they did this transformation. Take it away, Jessi! Ever since my church used pallets

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How to Host a Clothing Swap

How to Host a Clothing Swap

A few nights ago, six gals accompanied with bags of clothes, shoes, and accessories gathered in my house for a clothing swap. It was SO fun! Not only did I get rid of clothes that I don’t wear but I got to exchange them for clothes that I will actually

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How to Freeze Peaches

If you haven’t ever bitten into a freshly picked peach, do yourself a favor and go to your local farmers market ASAP. Tis the season and they are SO delicious. Every year I tell myself I am going to stock up on and freeze peaches for later use and every

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It Works! How to Remove a Broken Lightbulb with a Potato

It Works! How to Remove a Broken Lightbulb with a Potato

We are all about using natural, whole foods around here at Thriving Home. Even when it comes to home maintenance. OK, not really. But this was the case with a broken lightbulb that we couldn’t remove from our ceiling fan.  A few weeks ago, my husband used a bit too much

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How to Freeze Green Onions/Scallions

    So, this is one of those posts that many of you will chuckle at and think, “You didn’t know that?” I am here to tell you that, no, I did not know that you could freeze and save green onions for later use. So for those of you

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How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

This spring, I received a very special gift from my parents who were moving–FIVE BLUEBERRY BUSHES from their backyard! These bushes are about three years old, so they are already producing quite a few blueberries each year but still have some growing to do. After doing some major research about

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3 Key Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthier

3 Key Ways To Save Money and Eat Healthier

I’m about to make a statement that you might strongly disagree with.  But, I’ll do it anyway…and hopefully convince you. I think having healthy homemade food (vs. eating processed convenience food or fast food) for most meals is doable and is a huge benefit to you and your family. Not

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10 Tips for Throwing a Successful Yard Sale

10 Tips for Throwing a Successful Yard Sale

I don’t know if I should admit this but I associate spring time with garage sales. As the snow (finally) melts away, I have begun to see more and more sale signs popping up on Fridays and Saturdays. This morning I saw one on the corner of a popular intersection.

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Stools with So Much Potential!

  Most people would look at these stools and think, “Gross.” Since they came from my grandparent’s house I wasn’t too grossed out by them but they were in serious need of a makeover. The funny thing is, once you’ve reupholstered a few things you start to look at pieces

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Grandma’s Dresser Transformed into a Changing Table

Let the nesting begin! Ah, who’s kidding. I’m in a continual state of nesting whether I’m pregnant or not. This week’s warm weather allowed me to start and finish Baby 2.0’s changing table. I prefer to use dressers as changing tables for a lot of reasons. I like that their

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DIY Valentine Garland

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day. The only time of the year that men will tolerate their homes to be decorated in pinks, reds, and hearts. Due to our lack of storage space, I keep the holiday decorating to a minium. However, I was feeling the itch to make a little Valentine’s

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Why I Won’t Throw My Kid a Pinterest Birthday Party

Why I Won’t Throw My Kid a Pinterest Birthday Party

I have a confession to make. My son just turned 6 this week. And…I dropped the ball, so to speak, on planning a big basketball birthday party like he had originally asked for. There are so many moms out there who are far more creative than me. It’s easy to look

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Dyeing Baby Clothes: The Do’s and Don’ts

Since we only have one girl, the majority of our stuff is pink. Lots of pink. Tubs of pink. While we are thrilled to have a baby boy on the way, I realized that unless I want to dress him in pink and flowers (which I realize wouldn’t kill him,

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Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce {Freezer Meal}

People. If I would have known how easy and cheap it is to make your own marinara sauce in the crock pot, I would have started doing this years ago! Instead I’ve been spending money on expensive jars of Prego and other brands. All I had to do was cook

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DIY Stainless Steel Cleaner

DIY Stainless Steel Appliance Cleaner

With six little grimmy hands running around my house, our stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher get embarrassingly nasty. Fingerprints are everywhere! Want to see? And these pictures don’t even show the half of it! It looks much worse in person. I’ve never known what to do about cleaning my stainless

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Cloth Diapering Update

Cloth Diapering Update

One of our most visited posts on Thriving Home is Cloth Diapering 101. In this post that I wrote back in February,  I share why I cloth diaper, about the brand I use, how to care for cloth diapers, and even a slightly embarrassing video of how it all works. My daughter

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2 “No Skin Off Your Back” Online Money-Savers

2 “No Skin Off Your Back” Online Money-Savers

I’m not a big sucker for online programs and deals most of the time. I hate giving out my personal info or having more things on my computer to keep up with. I always say no to credit card offers. You get the picture. But, I have found two online

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Craigslist Tips: 10 Helpful Tips on How to Sell Your Stuff

Craigslist Tips: 10 Helpful Tips on How to Sell Your Stuff

I have a longstanding, love/hate relationship with Criagslist. Mostly love though. I’ve made quite a bit of money from selling things off of it but have also had to deal with flakey buyers and dishonest people. Overall though, I’ve learned to navigate the choppy waters of selling things on Criagslist

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DIY Baby Girl Onesies

DIY Baby Girl Onesies

If I would have known how easy these baby girl onesies were to make, I imagine my daughter’s drawer would have been full of them. This is a fun project for someone with beginning sewing skills. It also makes a great gift for any upcoming baby shower (assuming it’s a

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DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner (or How to Get Poop and Puke Out of Carpet)

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

Important Update as of 4/11/14: It has been over a year since using this on my carpet. The stains are still mostly gone, but my carpet is now lighter in those areas. I have old carpet so I much prefer this to the dark stains, but I want to give

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Fourth of July Wreath

Make Your Own Fourth of July Wreath

After seeing a Fourth of July fireworks stand being set up yesterday, I got really excited for the upcoming holiday! So when I stumbled on this wreath idea from Capital B, I got motivated and made one for myself! Fourth of July Wreath: A DIY Holiday Decorating Idea   Despite this project being a

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How to Transform a Onesie into a Dress

How to Transform a Onesie into a Dress

It’s amazing how fast babies grow out of their clothes. There were so many cute outfits that my little lady only wore once or twice. It was painful for me to pack barely used clothes away not knowing if they’d ever be used again. That is why I am pretty

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All-Natural DIY Drano

All-Natural DIY Drano: Safe and Effective Toilet Declogger

It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano recipe really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick two different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets–no pun intended.) Let me tell you, I was one happy home owner upon discovering this simple, cheap, and safe

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homemade laundry detergent ingredients

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Guest post by Jess from Twenty-Something and Not Counting I’ve been making homemade laundry detergent for about 4 years now. Though I was a little nervous it might not work well or might take too long, I decided to give it a whirl. I made it once and never looked

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Decorating Tip: Another Use for Painters Tape!

Decorating Tip: Another Use for Painters Tape!

I love to change our home decor up and move things around. In the early days of living in our house, I cut corners when hanging things on our walls and didn’t used the plastic anchors that hold the screws in securely.  I learned the hard way that this was

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New chair with silhouette shape

Antique Children’s Chair Makeover

This chair makeover might be my favorite furniture makeover I’ve ever done so far. That’s a pretty bold statement but I can’t remember a piece starting out so rough and turning out so great! I stumbled on this chair at a garage sale a few weeks ago. I almost passed

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$3 Worth of Beans Gets You All This (+ Taco Salad Recipe)

With food prices skyrocketing in the past few years, I’ve had to think of cheap creative ways to continue to make healthy, mostly organic, real food for my family.  It’s not easy.  Dried beans are a tremendous help, though! Last week, I accidentally cooked WAY too many dried beans.  I

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10 Tips for Throwing a Great Garage Sale

10 Tips for Throwing a Great Garage Sale

Tis the season for garage sales! In fact, instead of going out and hunting for great treasures for my home, this past weekend, I threw a garage sale of my own. Rachel jumped on board and put some of her stuff in it as well. Here is us in all

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Mailbox Makeover

Mailbox Makeover

I love spray painting things. LOVE IT. It is easy, fast, cheap and gives big results. This is a project I’ve been itching to get to for a while. Our mailbox was beginning to show rust and was in much need of some TLC. Here’s what one hour of work

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Chair Changes

What is it with numbering things? Everywhere I turn, it seems like someone is numbering a household item and making it look cool. I’m not quite sure I get it. What’s funny though is that I’ve jumped on the bandwagon without even knowing if I like numbering things. I wanted

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Playdate Skirt Tutorial

I absolutely love little skirts on baby girls. Now that my little gal is in cloth diapers, her booty needs a little more room so I’m on a mission to make loads of skirts. I named this the “Playdate Skirt” because it is comfortable, stretchy, and made for, well, playing!

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Five Minute Fabric Flowers

Five Minute Fabric Flowers

Looking for a cheap and easy craft project? One that takes close to five minutes once you get the hang of it? Look no further, my friends. You can see my little lady modeling my newest creation below. I made this fabric flower and attached it to this warm, fuzzy

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Give Old Pillows New Life!

Give Old Pillows New Life!

Want to freshen up some old throw pillows? Don’t throw them out! It is a lot easier to makeover an old pillow than you would think. All you need is fabric and some very basic sewing skills. To see the whole tutorial, keep on reading!

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I Heart Trader Joe’s: Why and What We Buy

I Heart Trader Joe’s: Why and What We Buy

I heart Trader Joe’s.  Who doesn’t, really? They’re the full package if you ask me.  Here’s why they’ve stolen my heart and what favorite TJ’s products make a (smallish) dent in my grocery bill. Three Things I Love About TJ’s 1 – They are a competitive, ethical corporation yet retain their

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New Mom Gift Idea: Nursing Time Box

New Mom Gift Idea: Nursing Time Box

Here’s a frugal, easy and useful gift idea for a new mom… A friend of mine had her third baby a few weeks ago and is now at home with the infant and her two other small children.  As I prepared a meal to take to her, I wondered if

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How to Make Your Own Window Cornice

How to Make Your Own Window Cornice

I really like the simple look of window cornices. They are clean, fresh, and from what I discovered, easy to make! I was also pleasantly surprised at how cheap the supplies for this turned out to be. AND it doesn’t involve any sewing. Do I have your attention?? Here’s how

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Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Make Your Own Baby Wipes

Due to some stubborn diaper rash on Adelyn’s bum, I started asking questions about things that could possibly help it go away a little faster. I got a few good suggestions from my expert mommy friends. One told me that her doctor told her to stop using wipes and switch

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DIY Baby Gift: Owl Pillow and Burp Cloths

DIY Baby Gift: Owl Pillow and Burp Cloths

A friend of mine had a little boy yesterday. I used it as an excuse to whip up a few fun burp clothes and an owl. These burp clothes are actually made from cloth diapers. If you have any sewing skills whatsoever, you can for sure make these. All it

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How to Make a Pacifier Clip

How to Make a Pacifier Clip

My little lady loves her pacifier. She also loves to spit it out at inconvenient times and in gross places. One of the most useful things I’ve made for her so far is a pacifier clip. They were SUPER easy. I made these four in an hour or so. Its

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How to Clean Uggs

How to Clean Uggs

I love my Uggs. I got them around 3 years ago and wish I could wear them every day. They are a heavenly place for my feet in the winter. The problem with my deep love for my Uggs is that they have gotten very dirty over the past few

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Toy Swapping Mommies

Want to clean out all the toys that have lost their luster in your house?  How about get some free Christmas gifts for your kids?  What if you could do both of those things while having a fun night out with your friends? If you were nodding your head along

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Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we’ve  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet? Below is my homemade disinfectant recipe, which I found here.  I use this on my kitchen

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